July 22, 1934 - outside Chicago's Biograph Theater, a barrage of FBI bullets brings down John Dillinger. As the body of Public Enemy Number one crumbles to the ground, one of the strangest,... See full summary »
F. Murray Abraham,
While waiting at a train station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder from a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since there's no body... See full summary »
Television viewer seeing this for the first time: Gee whiz, it's in black-and-white and was made in the 40's and is about crime and...Eureka!...another "noir" film is discovered. How about ... See full summary »
John Dillinger first goes to jail after attempting to rob his girlfriend's father at her suggestion. Falling in with the likes of Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd he arranges their ... See full summary »
The rise of John Dillinger from petty criminal (including, unforgiveably, holding up a cinema) via prison and bank robbery with his new convict associates to the accolade of Public Enemy Number One. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Many conservative social and religious groups demanded that the film be withdrawn or banned outright because of what they considered its "brutal and sensational" subject matter. The Chicago Censorship Board banned the film from being shown in Chicago for two years. The film finally opened on May 30, 1947, at the Oriental Theater in downtown Chicago and at the Biograph Theater on the north side, where the real John Dillinger had just seen a movie--Manhattan Melodrama (1934)--the night he was ambushed and shot dead by the FBI.. See more »
Dillinger died in 1934, but there are numerous mid- to late-30's automobiles used, a 1939 Ford and a 1940 Lincoln coupe, among others. See more »
This lean, mean cheapo has all the virtues of economy. Lawrence Tierney is great in his impressive debut, ideally cast as the cold, humourless psychopath. In a little over an hour we get the complete biography, with the bad guy hero gunned down with seven dollars and twenty cents in his pocket, the exact amount with which he began his criminal spree.
The scene transitions are tight and efficient, and the story-telling terse and elliptical, giving us only the significant moments in this brief, violent life. No words are wasted when Pa Otto meets his end.
Dmitri Tiomkin provides his customarily excellent music. The lone wailing horn in the prison scenes captures superbly the despair of the inmates, as indeed does the unyielding regularity of the jail architecture.
Verdict - Less is more in this commendably spare gangster flick.
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